David T. Cohen


  • JD, summa cum laude, Boston College Law School, 2007; Order of the Coif; James W. Smith Award for Highest Academic Rank; Editor in Chief, Boston College Law Review
  • AB (Philosophy and Music), magna cum laude, Brown University, 2003; Phi Beta Kappa; Meiklejohn Prize in Logic


  • New York, 2014
  • District of Columbia, 2011
  • Massachusetts, 2008

Court Admissions

  • Supreme Court of the United States, 2012
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 2013
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 2011
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 2008
  • Honorable Thomas L. Ambro, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (2007 - 2008)
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals

David T. Cohen


David’s practice focuses on complex consumer protection litigation, particularly in the area of privacy and data security. A certified privacy professional, CIPP/US, he has extensive experience working with corporate clients that have suffered data breaches or have been accused of privacy violations, defending them against class actions and claims asserted by payment card brands and representing them in connection with federal and state government investigations. In addition, David has advised clients on a range of privacy and data security compliance matters, including the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard and legal restrictions on information collection. As an experienced litigator, David also represents clients in a variety of business disputes outside the privacy context, including appellate, antitrust, securities, and regulatory matters.

Before joining Ropes & Gray, David served as a law clerk to the Honorable Thomas L. Ambro of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.


  • Representing a national credit card payment processor in issuing bank class actions filed across the nation related to a data breach announced in 2009.
  • Representing an international hotel chain in defense of a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit and card brand claims stemming from an unauthorized network intrusion into certain hotels of the chain.
  • Representing a major telecommunications company in defending an antitrust class action that alleges unlawful tying and unjust enrichment in connection with cable set-top boxes.
  • Represented hotel service provider sued in class action for alleged privacy violations under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act relating to payment card information allegedly contained in reservation confirmation emails. The case was dismissed with prejudice.
  • Represented a real estate investment trust targeted by a putative class action alleging violations of the Securities Act of 1933 in connection with an IPO registration statement. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed dismissal of the suit in a precedential ruling, Hutchison v. Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., 647 F.3d 479 (2d Cir. 2011).
  • Represented 80 higher education institutions as amici in U.S. Supreme Court litigation regarding ownership of federally funded inventions.
  • Represented an international computer entertainment company in government investigations stemming from computer network attacks.



  • Doug Meal, Mark Szpak and David Cohen,“St. Joseph Demonstrates Challenges For Breach Plaintiffs,” Law360 (February 26, 2015)
  • Quoted, “NY’s Novel Data Security Proposal Likely to Have Wide Appeal,” Law360 (January 27, 2015)
  • Douglas H. Meal and David T. Cohen, “Private Data Security Litigation in the United States,” in Inside the Minds: Privacy and Surveillance Legal Issues (Aspatore 2014)
  • Douglas H. Meal, David T. Cohen, and Lisa L. Rachlin, "Takeaways From 9th Circ. FCRA Ruling Against Spokeo," Law360 (February 14, 2014)
  • Douglas H. Meal, James S. DeGraw, Paul D. Rubin and David T. Cohen,  "FTC's Increasingly Aggressive Assertion Of Authority," Law360 (October 9, 2013)
  • Douglas H. Meal, David T. Cohen, and Lisa L. Rachlin, "Data Breach Plaintiffs Continue To Face Challenges," Law360 (July 22, 2013)
  • Douglas H. Meal and David T. Cohen, "FTC's Payment Processor Lawsuits Signal Growing Privacy Risks," Payment Source (July 15, 2013)
  • "Chevron Ruling Reflects Trend On Song-Beverly's Reach," Law360 (June 27, 2013)
  • Douglas H. Meal, David T. Cohen, and Lisa L. Rachlin, "Massachusetts High Court Decision on ZIP Codes Increases Legal Risk for Retailers," Chain Store Age (May 2, 2013)
  • Douglas H. Meal, David T. Cohen and Daniel M. Routh, "Supreme Court’s Clapper Decision Raises Bar For Standing in Data Security Breach Litigation," Bloomberg BNA's Privacy and Security Law Report (April 1, 2013)
  • Douglas H. Meal and David T. Cohen, “How High Court's Clapper Ruling Will Impact Breach Cases,” Law360 (February 26, 2013)
  • Jane E. Willis and David T. Cohen, "Ninth Circuit Brings Greater Scrutiny to Class Counsel's Fees in In re Mercury Interactive Corp.," Bloomberg Law Reports: Class Actions/Securities Litigation and Enforcement (October 2010)
  • Old Rule, New Theory: Revising the Personal Benefit Requirement for Tipper/Tippee Liability Under the Misappropriation Theory of Insider Trading, 47 B.C. L. Rev. 547 (2006), reprinted in Insider Trading: Regulatory Perspectives 1 (C. Vidya ed., 2007)

Ropes & Gray Alerts

  • “Online Retailer Zappos.com Reaches Settlement with Nine Attorneys General Over Data Security Breach,” (January 15, 2015)
  • “FTC Complaint Against Medical Laboratory Signals Agency’s Continued Intent to Assert Authority in Data-Security-Breach Actions,” Ropes & Gray Alert (September 11, 2013)
  • “Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Calls for Increased Scrutiny of Privacy Practices for Consumer Data,” Ropes & Gray Alert (August 28, 2013) 
  • “FTC Actions Against Payment Processors Heighten Legal Risks for Service Providers in Privacy Cases,” Ropes & Gray Alert (June 28, 2013)
  • “FCC Rules Sellers May Be Vicariously Liable for Third-Party Telemarketers’ Violations of Telephone Consumer Protection Act,” Ropes & Gray Alert (May 17, 2013)
  • “On-Line Sales of Shipped Goods Held Outside Reach of California’s Song-Beverly Credit Card Act,” Ropes & Gray Alert (May 6, 2013)
  • “Massachusetts High Court Decision Regarding ZIP Codes Increases Consumer Litigation Risk for Retailers,” Ropes & Gray Alert (March 19, 2013)
  • “Supreme Court’s Clapper Decision Raises Bar for Standing in Data Security Breach Litigation,” Ropes & Gray Alert (March 4, 2013)
  • “FTC Settles with Device Manufacturer HTC America over Charges that HTC Products Had Security Design Flaws,” Ropes & Gray Alert (February 28, 2013)


  • Speaker, "Ropes & Gray West Coast Lunchtime Legal Briefing Teleconference - Navigating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act - When Can You Make That Call or Send That Text?" (September 2013)